Peter Pan Essay - Research Paper - Hippogurl93
Prefaced with a useful introduction that explains to non-UK readers the history and significance of the Christmas pantomime and its connections with Peter Pan the play, this collection both challenges and builds on the distinguished body of criticism Peter Pan has inspired, such as the provocative and influential books by Rose, Humphrey Carpenter (Secret Gardens), and James Kincaid (Child Loving). The essays are grouped loosely into four sections: "In His Own Time," "In and out of Time—Peter Pan in America," "Timelessness and Timeliness of Peter Pan," and "Women's Time." As the section headings suggest, the first set of essays historicizes Peter Pan, the second considers strands of the myth's transatlantic influence, the third explores contemporary appropriations of the Peter Pan canon as well as its theoretical problematics, and the fourth provides feminist readings.
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Karen Coats's brilliant essay, "Child-Hating: Peter Pan in the Context of Victorian Hatred," delightfully challenges Kincaid's work by closely considering the necessary obverse of his thesis. Once one has granted the pleasures of child-loving, it seems natural (though Coats is the first really to consider it) to wonder about the reverse. Her rich and appropriately nuanced discussion is a pleasure to read. Paul Fox's admirable situating [End Page 68] of Peter Pan in the Yellow Decade argues that Peter Pan is an embodiment of "art for art's sake" and should be understood alongside Walter Pater's infamous Studies in the History of the Renaissance and Oscar Wilde's even more infamous Picture of Dorian Gray. As does Dorian Gray,Peter Pan confronts the inevitability of atrophy even as it promotes the Beautiful as a way of "justif[ying] the world," in Fox's words (42). Christine Roth's article on J. M. Barrie's too often overlooked contributions to the cult of the Victorian girl likewise historicizes and enriches our understanding of the cultural work Peter Pan accomplished. Jill P. May's essay on pirate lore is a must-read for anyone considering the significance of pirates in Peter Pan and in American culture since. Kayla McKinney Wiggins's essay, enticingly titled "More Darkly Down the Left Arm"—a reference to Barrie's claim that when tendonitis forced him to write with his left rather than right hand, his fictional productions emerged "more darkly"—discusses Barrie's use of Celtic fairy lore not only in Peter Pan but also in two later plays, Dear Brutus and Mary Rose. In the next section, "In and out of Time," both essays focus upon American appropriations of Peter Pan. In the first essay Clay Kinchen Smith argues that Barrie's racial caricatures in Peter Pan actually counter racism by comparing his treatment with that of...
This is the scene depicted in a photograph of the Ukita family in Kodaira City, Japan as part of a series taken by Peter Menzel for the book “What the World Eats”.